Coccinellidae is a widespread family of small beetles. They are commonly known as ladybugs in North America and ladybirds in the United Kingdom; “lady” refers to mother Mary. Entomologists use the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles to avoid confusion with true bugs.

Coccinellids range in size from 0.8 to 18 mm (0.03–0.7 in). They are sexually dimorphic; adult females tend to be slightly larger than males. They are generally oval with domed backs and flattened undersides. They have large compound eyes and clubbed antennae with seven to eleven segments. The powerful mandibles (equivalent to jaws) typically have pairs of “teeth” which face each other.

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Fact file

  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Suborder: Polyphaga
  • Infraorder: Cucujiformia
  • Superfamily: Coccinelloidea
  • Family: Coccinellidae